Freshman Orientation

I love welcoming our new students to the Library Media Center (LMC), introducing myself and talking about what we have available. This year, Ms. Parent and her freshman classes were the first to visit the library to check out books, and that gave me a chance to give them a brief orientation.

I began by talking about the LMC and how it is a hub of the high school and a space that is often shared by one than one group. I reminded the students that this means we need to be respectful of each other and mindful that the LMC is an academic workplace. And what a place it is.

Unlike libraries of the past which were quiet and tended to be isolated from other activities, the HHS LMC reflects the modern vision of how libraries have evolved to adapt to their changing roles in our lives. I have provided a map below to help anyone unfamiliar with the LMC to get an idea of how multi-faceted the space is.

Housed in the library are three computer-related classrooms, the EMT/ Nursing class, Gradpoint and the ERC (where students serve in-house detention). What used to be the library staffroom and archiving area now serves as the Family Resource Center. There’s also an area reserved for the Robotics classes to construct and test their robots. In short, the LMC is a heavily trafficked area, even when no one is checking out books.

Ms. Parent’s classes, however, came precisely to do just that, so after talking about the library space, I introduced them to the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) available via the HPS Launchpad. This handy little tool is something that even teachers often forget they have available to them, and since it exists online, it means anyone can access it through their smartphones.

This time around, my intro to the OPAC was very brief, as experience has taught me that most kids would rather ramble through the shelves when they are looking for something to read independently. Since most students were looking for fiction titles, it was important to familiarize them with how we organize the largest collection in our library. We have over 6,000 novels and their call numbers all begin with F (for fiction, obviously) followed by the first three letters of the AUTHOR’S LAST NAME. So, for example, any book by John Green (Looking for Alaska, Turtles All the Way Down, The Fault in Our Stars, etc) can be found under the call # F GRE. If you can find one book by your favorite author, you can find them all, because they should all be shelved together.

But, as I said before, unless the student already has a title or author in mind, most reluctant readers are looking for a cover or title that catches their eye … despite the old adage about judgment and book covers.

To help our students find their way without having to use the OPAC, we recently put up new labels such as “Diseases”, “Animals”, “World War II”, “Sports” and “Shakespeare” on the shelves where these topics are concentrated. We also have visual cues, such as pictures of animals or WWII planes, to assist them in their search. With that, I sent them off to find a book and welcomed them to Hillie Nation.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you found something worthwhile.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2019. All rights reserved


Author: htwilson

born in brooklyn, raised in queens, massachusetts, that's where I be.

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